Kobe Bryant does study and research for A-Rod

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It was mentioned in that story about A-Rod’s knee procedure the other day that Kobe Bryant recommended the German doctor and the procedure to Rodriguez. Now there’s a bigger story about it, talking to Bryant:

“You can’t just try something just to try it,” Bryant said. “It has to make sense. It has to be something that you can back with research and study and things like that.”

And how did Bryant get information about the therapy — called Orthokine — being done in Duesseldorf?

“It’s my job to know these things,” Bryant said with a grin.

I don’t know why I find that so hilarious, but I do. I get this image of A-Rod at Bryant’s house, drinking a soda and watching MMA or something, while Bryant is in his study with a stack of medical books. Bryant comes out and lectures Rodriguez about taking care of himself and then hands him a plane ticket and the card of the doctor. Rodriguez says something like “uh, what?”  Bryant breathes deeply and firmly tells Rodriguez to go.  A-Rod says something like “Hey, U mad, bro?”  And he says it in such a way that you know he’d spell it like that if he were writing it.

OK, baseball really needs to start now.

UPDATE: If empty dumb humor about this is not good enough for you, go read Anna McDonald’s excellent report about the procedure A-Rod received over at IIATMS.

Alex Bregman shows how easy it is to manufacture “controversy” in baseball

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In most sports it takes legitimate trash talk to create off-day “controversy.” In baseball, it takes the weakest sauce. We saw how weak that sauce was yesterday.

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are going to face off against Nate Eovaldi and the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS tonight. It’s worth noting that earlier this season, they hit back-to-back-to-back home runs off of Eovaldi when he was pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yesterday, in an act which was likely somewhat inspired by self-motivation, somewhat inspired by getting in Eovaldi’s head and somewhat inspired by a simple interest in having fun, Bregman took the video of those back-to-back-to-back homers off of Eovaldi and posted it to his Instagram:

Of course, since this is baseball, where even farting off-key can be construed as “showing up” the opposition or somehow disrespecting the game, it became a thing. Or at least people tried to make it become a thing.

Indeed, it took them a bit to find someone who would help them make it a thing, because Eovaldi himself didn’t care about it a bit, nor did Astros manager A.J. Hinch or Red Sox manager Alex Cora. Eventually, however, they hit pay dirt. Here’s Sox infielder Steve Pearce talking to WEEI.com:

“Wow. I don’t know why he would do that. We do our talking on the field. If he wants to run his mouth now we’ll see who is talking at the end of the series.”

My guess is that almost no one on the planet, Steve Pearce included, would care about this in a vacuum or if they allowed themselves to think through it for more than a second. Baseball culture, though — and let’s be clear about it, baseball media culture — has conditioned most of its players and participants to think that stuff like this is supposed to be controversial, so it actually takes effort not to start dancing to this kind of tune on auto-pilot.

Kudos to Hinch, Cora and Eolvaldi for exerting that effort and not dancing to it. To the press that automatically sought out comment on this and Pearce who dutifully gave it: hey, I get it. It’s hard to resist one’s conditioning. Maybe you’ll be able to resist it next time.